Monday, June 29, 2009

Obligatory Gen X Nostalgia Over Michael Jackson And Farrah Fawcett

Last week a church near my office held a “strawberry festival” to raise funds for its acclaimed music program. I was there in the guise of Local Journalist On Duty, snapping photos of wholesome teens eating shortcake and toddlers getting their faces painted while collecting quotes from various adults about how the strawberries are extremely tasty and for a good cause. (I could post the story I filed that night, but you should probably just wait for the movie version.)

Little did I know that 3,000 miles away, a wealthy and insane celebrity who never knew I existed was breathing his last breath. But as I left the strawberry festival and started walking back to the office, I ran into the staff photographer, who told me Michael Jackson had died.

“Really?” I said. “Damn. I feel sorry for [the guy who does layout at the paper]; he already had the front page set up for Farrah Fawcett’s obit and now he’s got to fit Jackson there, too. I think—goddammit!”

I’d just stepped into the crosswalk (which had the white “walk” sign glowing) when a car sped around the corner at high speed, completely oblivious to the red-haired pedestrian. I jumped back onto the curb and the car missed hitting me by maybe five inches.

So I can honestly say I felt strong and unpleasant emotions within seconds of learning Michael Jackson was dead. However, I completely disavow the notion that as a member of Generation X I’m somehow obligated to take it personally when people like Jackson and Farrah Fawcett die.
"These people were on our lunchboxes," said Gary Giovannetti, 38, a manager at HBO who grew up on Long Island awash in Farrah and MJ iconography. "This," he said, "is the moment when Generation X realizes they're grown up."
Thirty-eight years old and he’s just now realizing this? Gary, you are doing it wrong: Generation X grew up and lost its innocence when Kurt Cobain died, remember?

Not that it matters to me. Celebrity news does not concern me; economic news does. And the economic news is still grim, so I have been researching ways to invest some of my savings, but not in risky markets like housing or manufacturing or banks.

So I've been checking out the Franklin Mint website, so I can be the first to place an order when they put their inevitable Michael Jackson commemorative collectibles up for sale.

Here’s how it works: every month I’ll pay the low low price of only $29.95 and receive a Genuine Bone China Thimble, each with a hand-designed portrait of the King of Pop’s awe-inspiring life: The “Ben” Afro! Jackson 5! Moonwalk! The first nosejob! The Lisa Presley Marriage TV Interview! The second nosejob! Duet with Paul McCartney! Burning hair and a Pepsi! Order this lovely limited edition collectible 25-thimble set, and receive this handsome wood-veneer display shelf absolutely free.

Then someday, in a few years, if I'm ever broke and really need the money, I can sell the whole set for under $100 on eBay.


Anonymous Yeah, whatever said...

“Ebony and Ivory” with Paul McCartney!

I thought that was Stevie Wonder and McCartney who did that.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

My lack of pop-culture knowledge makes me a disgrace to my generation. I changed it to "Duet" because I'm pretty sure he sang something with McCartney.

7:01 PM  
Blogger The New England Curmudgeon said...

"Say, Say, Say" was MJ and McCartney. Okay video, too.

I've taken some heat for complaining about how the news was dominated by Michael Jackson's death. You know, give him 20 minutes... maybe an hour. But do I really need to see them wheel his corpse into an ambulance for the ride to the morgue? The REAL news was that the city of LA closed off access to the entire hospital while the docs tried to unsuccessfully revive the King of Unproven Child Molestation - er, Pop... man, if I had a family member who needed to get to a hospital, quick, and was turned away at the gates because "Jacko is here", I'd be pretty damn pissed.

9:20 AM  

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